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Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Cornmeal Crusted Onion Rings

        A while ago, one of my oldest and dearest friends, was writing an International Gluten-Free cookbook.  Michael’s question to me was what could he include that would be truly Canadian.   To me, the answer was very simple.  With apologies to the entire state of Vermont, anything with Maple Sugar or Maple Syrup is as Canadian as it comes. 
        When I was growing up it was such a part of Canadian culture that, as young children, one of the great treats after our long winters was when ‘Sugaring Off’ parties took place.   When the sap rose in the early spring. off our entire school class would go to the country and to farms and woodlots where they gathered the syrup from our national symbol, the Maple.  They’d tap the trees with metal spigots, attach long aluminum pails to them and the syrup would drip from the trees.  It’s a clear liquid and looks and tastes very much like sweetened water.    Once they’d collected enough, it would be put into caldrons and set over wood fires where it thickened and turned amber. For our visit, the syrup was poured over wooden troughs of snow, where depending on its thickness, it formed maple candy.  We ate so much of the stuff that most of the ride back to the city was punctuated by the moans of the overeaters and vows never to do that again.  Until, of course, next year.

        Today, I have a seemingly endless supply of Maple Syrup because it is one of the first things my Canadian family brings when they come to visit.  Anytime I can find use for it, I do.    So when I saw Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Glazed Pork Chops, I went straight to the pantry to haul out the deliciously dark amber syrup bearing the Maple Leaf and the label “Produit de Quebec”. This recipe comes from “Jamie’s Food Revolution”. If you know the book and its author, you know that Jamie is all about getting people to cook sensible, healthy and delicious food in very easy-to-make recipes.  And pictured on top of the photograph of Jamie’s Pork Chops were nice crisp onion rings.  My go-to recipe for Onion Rings are Ina Garten’s wonderful cornmeal crusted ones.  They are a snap to make, crispy and crunchy and perfect with the maple flavored pork.  And so that the whole dish doesn’t look like one brown heap, Jamie sautés sage leaves to decorate the dish. 
        A word about the pork.  As you know, pork is a passion of mine in all its forms.  However, it is to be noted that pork in this country is being bred to be as fatless as chicken.  As a consequence you can end up with some of the driest meat imaginable.  If you buy organic or at minimum free-range chops there will be a distinct difference which I highly recommend.  I went to Trader Joe’s for mine.   Here are the recipes:

1 thought on “Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Cornmeal Crusted Onion Rings”

  • I wanted to give you a little feedback on my dinner last night which was based on your Maple Glazed Pork Chops Recipe. As I mentioned I had a dinner party Sunday and served a Costco rib pork roast which was to die for. This is something I like to serve medium medium rare, tender, moist and great flavor. Well I had leftovers an equivalent of three large chops.

    Last night I took the left over roast out of the fridge and carved out three individual chops. I let the chops sit until they reached room temp. I then sliced a very ripe pear and with the pair, poured a little maple syrup over each of the chops wrapping each individually in aluminum foil. I then warmed the chops in the oven at 225 for around 25/30 mins. and sauteed them for a couple of mins in butter and a little more syprup. I served the chops with steam spinach and sweet potatoes. Let me tell you it was devine. Thanks for your idea as it worked beautifully..

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